No Flash In Tpyers
Ze Han Zest
Not content with four goals last weekend, Chan Ze Han
would light it up at tpyers Arena! in his first match as a thirty-five year old, to reap another three against the Holland Village braves. The hosts weren't afraid to express themselves before their own fans, but this proved an unwise choice against the wizard's spell.
Having advanced to the sixth round of the Emerald Challenger Cup against Moeinsingapore, one could excuse if the hosts were a bit distracted; successive 0-7 disasters against the Merlions and Mayuyu AKB48 suggested so, but according to head coach Royce Chen, there would be no such embarassment today. His pledge would only be partially fulfilled with main man Alex Ro doing what he could to limit the damage, and they would even sneak one in eventually, to the ire of Birds goalie Dimitris Germanakos
Aw Keng Chuan
would return to regular duties for Grilled, but his specialties would be rarely called upon today, as Chan got going with a slip in behind in the seventh minute imploring Chad Thach
to release the ball promptly, which the playmaker did. The Number Four did do his part in channeling Mo Jia Aik to the outside, restricting the winger to a poor angle for the effort that would come - and it still wasn't that far away. Young tpyers skipper Ben Ishikawa mixed it up with a fine fifty-yarder out from defence several minutes later that appeared headed for Yeoh Jing De, but Damian Hutter
stepped up with a strong header to ward the threat off pronto.
Those few minutes were the best that the hosts could muster for the half, and their relatively undisciplined distribution would be their downfall sooner rather than later. Chan got too much of the ball where he wanted it, and his pulverizing strike from just inside the penalty area in the 19th minute, would be too much for Italian custodian Antonio Ramenghini to handle. The same went for Lim An Keng
's lithe chip in the 35th, which made it 3-0 Birds.
The home support knew that Chen's pledge was unlikely to be fulfilled with that, but credit to them, they would stay in good voice afterwards - and even through the interval. Ro would bring the situation under some sort of control, aided by Ng Han How clamping down on Lim, and the match restarted with Chia Kwang Tse
on for Thach - and Moey Xin Seng
going high and having Ramenghini seemingly barely divert it onto the bar. No corner, though.
Bilal Mohammad Harun
would be off next in the 65th, having had an indifferent day against the far more energetic Ishikawa, and Gandhik Chitre
entered just in time to experience tpyers' best period of the day. Powered largely by Mo Jia Aik's sudden edge over Ferzan, they would see Serb Zsolt Sajtos smash it hard at Grilled's goal after a cross went all the way through, only for Germanakos to ward it aside with difficulty. Ten minutes on, Harley Heng went one better with his own rather more considered finish, causing their fans to erupt at their first goal in over 265 minutes of league footy.
Their cheers would be swiftly squelched by none other than Chan, that said, as he cold-bloodedly gave no consideration to their brief happiness. Ro would try to get in the way as Grilled's decorated Number Eleven approached cautiously soon after kick-off, but was taken aback as Chan slowly accelerated, and in quite the unstoppable fashion. A series of rapid dribbling steps would be punctuated by a grand shift of the hips and twist to the other side, that threw both Ro - and Low Heng Rong behind him - off. There was no time to recover, as Chan fanned it wide of Ramenghini for another hat-trick.
It was thus the visiting section that would carry on the celebrations, as Chan was deservedly mobbed by his teammates, causing the match to be delayed for a while. German referee Ingolf Westhausen was understanding, but still had to reach for his pocketbook, to hasten the restart. Gilbert Webb
would be waiting patiently to come in through it all, and he would finally get to tag Bhavya Panigrahi
off, to take his place for the final ten minutes.
Moey would get his goal almost immediately afterwards, as the Birds were awarded a free-kick at the head of the box, after Chitre's hopeful run got brutally cut off. Panigrahi would have taken it ordinarily, but with him just gone off, it would be Chan Ze Han
to stand over it, along with Kalki Parvathaneni
. Few were surprised when Chan hit it... but it wouldn't be for more personal glory, as he lifted it towards Moey instead. That was the right move, as the veteran didn't even have to jump for this one, instead waiting for the ball to drop for a better take with his feet.